Best Ugly Bagels in Newmarket
The first thing you notice when you walk into Best Ugly Bagels in the huge custom-made stone oven, which chef & owner Al Brown had shipped over from Canada. I could see a pile of dough being hand-rolled and then dunked by the batch into a big pot filled with honey-sweetened water, then laid out on long wooden racks, ready to go into the oven. Al prides himself on using quality, fresh ingredients, with everything being made to order, and it definitely shows in the taste.
Al Brown spent 2 years living in Montreal in the 80s and became well acquainted with the Polish Jewish version of the bagel. The Montreal bagel is slightly sweet and crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. In contrast, the New York classic is bigger, denser, and more doughy. Lucky for us kiwis that he decided to learn the art of bagel making in Montreal and open up his own bagel cafe, first in Wellesley St, and then in Newmarket.
We ordered the 'Yodi' ($10) and 'Holey Smoke' ($12). The Yodi bagel has pastrami, habanero mustard, grilled swiss and is topped with a pickle. This was truly scrumptious. The house-made pastrami (which takes 3 days to make) was tender and the habanero mustard gave it a great kick, with the cheese and sliced pickle finishing it off perfectly. The Holey Smoke bagel has smoked fish, creme fraiche, lemon zest rocket sauce, parsley and lemon juice. Oh how I love my fish smoked! All these ingredients make for an incredible lunch, best enjoyed outside in the cute little courtyard in front.
Best Ugly Bagels: 3A York Street, Newmarket, Auckland 1050. Also at City Works Depot, Auckland CBD.